Skip to main content

Bakewell pudding

Once upon a time (so the story goes), the owner of a hotel in a little town named Bakewell asked his cook to make a jam tart.  The cook, being rather dim, managed to spread a layer of jam over the pastry shell, and then dollop some kind of eggy almondy mixture on top.  "How do you manage to screw up a simple jam tart?" cried the hotel owner.  However, being a pragmatic type, he poured some custard on it and sent it out to table 3 anyway.  The guests rather liked the new specialit√© du maison and bingo! the Bakewell pudding was born.


What the story doesn't tell you is that the cook was always doing things like that. "You're supposed to put the fruit on the top, dammit!" turned into pineapple upside-down cake.  "Would you like to explain exactly why you poured a mug of hot cocoa over a perfectly good chocolate cake?" led to the self-saucing chocolate pudding.  But by the third attempt, some genius had hit on the idea of naming the latest bodge-job after the town, and Bakewell's supply of tourist revenue for the next two centuries was guaranteed.

Bridge in Bakewell

Bakewell Parish Church

Believe it or not, I have not yet embarked on cake tourism.  My reason for visiting Bakewell, apart from it being a pretty little town in a rather nice part of the Peak District, involved a man by the name of White Watson - but who he is and why I was interested in him will be explained in another blog post.  For now, we will gloss over the few hours' research in Bakewell library, and move on to a more interesting part of the trip.  Ummm... [leafs through photos] what was that?  Oh yes, lunch!

 
Lunch was eaten in a very English kind of cafe named Byways.  The decor made you think you had accidentally wandered into some old lady's sitting room, while the drinks menu reinforced the impression by offering you hot Ribena or Horlicks (or a nice cup of tea, of course).  And the baked potatoes were delicious.





Anticipating the cold and drizzly weather, we'd booked a table at the brilliantly named Baked Well Pottery in the afternoon.  A party of excited six-year-olds were being herded out the door as we went in, but after we'd recovered from being trampled, we had the place to ourselves.  We settled down for an hour of colourful concentration.  Toby and Graham decorated a little turtle while I worked on a small pot.


 
By the time we found our hotel for the night, the drizzle had turned to snow.  In the morning there was quite a thick layer.


However, it was extremely variable; a few miles down the road there was almost none, then all of a sudden it would be everywhere again.  The hills had a nice sugar-dusted effect on them.





We attempted some of the Monsal Trail despite the cold.  This is a defunct railway line (always good for pushchair walks!) on which they have recently reopened some of the old tunnels.  We shivered our way to Headstone tunnel and enjoyed the views from the viaduct beyond, then rushed a crying Toby back to the warm car as fast as possible.  The poor kid was cold and tired - never a good combination - but a long nap in the car solved those problems, and let us enjoy a quiet picnic-with-a-view before the drive home.


Inside Headstone Tunnel

On the viaduct



Did I say I didn't do cake tourism?  Well, it would be rude not to visit even one of those many "Only Original and Authentic Bakewell Pudding" shops, now wouldn't it?

Very tasty!

Comments

Jo said…
You definitely went to the right shop... Having been to bakewell lots of times, and even lived just 10 miles down he road I've eaten waaaay more of those puddings than can be considered healthy. On one occasion we even did a little taste test experiment, visiting each pudding shop. Felt rather sick after that!!

Popular posts from this blog

Dove Valley Walk: finding the mouth of the Dove

The Bonnie Prince Charlie Way was really just a fill-in walk until I could start my next big excursion. Gloopy though the BPC was, I knew it wouldn't actually be flooded, whereas the bits of ground I was tackling next had had ducks paddling on them for most of the winter.   The grand plan is to start from my house in Findern, reaching the start of the River Dove. I can then follow the Dove to Uttoxeter, making up my own route, as this section has no official waymarked path. At Uttoxeter I join the Staffordshire Way up to Rocester, then the Limestone Way beyond that. It stays near the Dove for a while longer. Then it cuts across the southern Peak District to reach Matlock. At Matlock I can pick up the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, heading south through Derby to reach the River Trent at Shardlow. The Trent has its own relatively new Way, leading back to Repton and then, eventually, home. The map shows a rough idea of the route. If only it would stop raining long enough for me to get a

Dove Valley Walk: Marston from both directions

Marston-on-Dove consists of about three farms and a church. If you live more than ten miles away, you've probably never heard of it. Bizarrely, the church is the parish church for Hilton, which is now many times Marston's size after a bunch of houses were built on an old MoD base. Marston Lane bridge  Marston also has a bridge over the River Dove. I walked from Egginton and crossed it north to south, then walked from Tutbury and crossed it south to north. I think I can now consider that bridge pretty well crossed off my list! Walk 1: Egginton to Marston Having visited Claymills Pumping Station , I now know that Egginton used to be dominated by the stench of Burton's sewage, which was pumped up here to be spread across some fields in the hope that it would magically disappear. It didn't. It sat there and stank.  We don't seem to have learned many lessons about making bad things magically disappear (see also: plastic, nuclear waste) but at least sewage treatment has p

A Place at the Table: Spiritual Formation Book 12

"God has ordained in his great wisdom and goodness that eating, and especially eating in company, should be one of the most profound and pleasurable aspects of being human." Miranda Harris had been intending to write a book for years. She'd got as far as a folder full of notes when she died suddenly in a car accident in 2019. When her daughter, Jo Swinney, found the notes, she decided to bring her mum's dream to fruition. A Place at the Table was the result. I thought this was going to be a nice friendly book about having people over for dinner. In one sense it is, but it's pretty hard-hitting as well. Miranda and her husband Peter co-founded the environmental charity A Rocha, so the book doesn't shy away from considering the environmental aspects of what we eat and how we live. They also travelled widely and encountered hunger at close quarters; the tension between seeing such poverty and believing in a generous God comes out clearly in A Place at the Table.